2007_05_donuts.jpgTwo weeks ago, our friends over at Bostonist posted a very scary map plotting more than 50 Dunkin Donuts locations within a five-mile radius of their city’s Downtown Crossing. The actual number of New York Dunkin Donuts locations, parameters widened to include Port Authority based kiosks and airport locations, is likely to be more than a baker’s dozen for any given five mile radius. So yeah, sure, it seems America runs on Dunkin and all that, spokespersonality Rachael Ray is somewhere yummo-ing™ with a Vanilla Bean Coolatta®, and the donut war is over. Resistance is futile. Your donuts will herewith be stale and taste like cake mix.

With most conveyor belt Krispy Kreme locations down for the count (remember all those donut wedding cakes?), the possibility of finding a really fresh donut still exists at places like Grand Street’s brilliant Doughnut Plant; it doesn’t seem like there are too many options in the outer boroughs. Edible Brooklyn ran a great article on so-called “indie donut shops” in their Winter issue, featuring Peter Pan in Greenpoint and Mike’s Donuts in Bay Ridge, among others. Gothamist offers another Brooklyn choice, and it’s open 24/7: Shaikh’s Place on Avenue U.

Though Shaikh’s boast “48 varieties,” the truth is their donuts are not pushing any envelopes. Glazed varieties all taste approximately the same, and there are a bunch of not too dissimilar sugar kinds: cinnamon sugar, coconut flakes and sugar, and so on. What makes Shaikh’s special are the spinning counter seats (wheee!), the Joe Franklin autographed picture, a weird flavored-syrup soda machine tucked away in the front corner, and the fact that donuts are made around the clock. Ask for a dozen fresh ($5.50), and they’ll literally pack twelve freshly fried donuts into a small bakery box for you, like a clown car for baked goods. Perfect when they’re hot. Hot coffee to match. Long live the sprinkles samizdat.

Shaikh’s Place
aka “Donut Shoppe”
1503 Ave U
(718) 375-2572

Photo: Donuts from Shaikh's Place
* for "all doughnuts, all the time," visit the indispensable Blognut